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The Importance of Exercising for SeniorsWouldn't it be awesome to have energy and feel good as a twenty year old, even though you're well into your sixties or seventies? Sadly, it's not always possible. As you begin to age, your risk of diseases, illness, and health issues increase. To keep a high level of energy and feel young, take part in a regular exercise regiment to give your body energy and vitality.
Why Exercise?Here are some of the benefits of exercising:
- Flexibility -- As you age, your joints lose their mobility and your connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) lose flexibility. This could reduce your range of motion, preventing you from enjoying the activities you once used to. But exercise can combat that problem! You can do exercise that increases your flexibility and mobility and stave off the effects of aging.
- Lower blood pressure -- Exercise helps to eliminate body fat and cholesterol from your bloodstream, but it also increases heart function and improves circulation. The more you exercise, the more your blood vessels become accustomed to dilating (expanding). This can help to reduce your risk of hypertension!
- Weight Loss and maintaining of healthy weight -- As you age, your testosterone levels decrease. Testosterone is the hormone that helps you to build lean muscle mass. This means that you begin to lose muscle mass, and you pack on a bit of extra fat. But not with exercise doing its thing! Exercise boosts testosterone levels and helps you to manage your weight and body fat.
- Increase mental clarity -- It's a well-known fact that exercise gets the blood flowing throughout your body, which means to your brain too! Regular exercise keeps your brain circulation healthy, reducing the risk of strokes, Alzheimer's disease, and other brain-related disorders.
- Increase social network -- What better way to meet new people than by spending time engaging in the same activity as them? When you work out at a gym, a running park, or a health club, you get to meet like-minded, fitness-conscious people with whom you have a lot in common. Talk about awesome social networking!
- More restful sleep --When you exercise, you burn through the energy your body has produced during the day. The faster you burn through the energy, the sooner your body sends signals that you need to sleep. You'll find that exercise can help to improve the quality of your sleep!
- Increase sex drive -- That's right: exercise can keep the "happy fun time parts" working much better. Exercise improves circulation, which helps to maintain a healthy blood flow to your genitals. It also boosts the levels of testosterone that control your sex drive.
What to DoYou need exercise just like everyone else, but your goals are a bit different: Endurance training (like running, cycling, and walking) helps to strengthen your heart and boost circulation.
Flexibility and balance training (like Yoga, stretching, martial arts, and Pilates) helps to increase your flexibility and mobility, and reduce your risk of injuries--both during exercise and in your daily life. The balance aspect will also help you to avoid falls. Resistance training (like weightlifting) helps to build muscles, but it also increases bone density, thereby preventing osteoporosis and other degenerative disorders. Here are a few fun ways to add more exercise to your life:
- Park the car out farther in the parking lot.
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
- Take a short walk in the park.
- Start ballroom dance lessons.
- Join a fitness group at your local YMCA or Senior Center.
- Take Tai Chi classes.
- Take gentle or chair yoga classes.
- Take Qi Gong classes.